The "what is" and " how to" thread for the Rolls Razor

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by gregindallas, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. eharriett

    eharriett New Member

    Yes. Forgot to mention that! I was going to see what I could get from am ebay seller, save on shipping to the US. I saw there weren't any sellers of the size we needed when you originally posted, but there appears to be some sellers of the 05mm sheets now. Was going to attempt when I get a "to work on" Rolls.
  2. eharriett

    eharriett New Member

    This just occurred to me: has anyone made a template yet we could download so we have the exact size to cut out for the friction pad? If not, I’ll see what I can do after I am all set up in the attempt.
  3. eharriett

    eharriett New Member

    Just got one of the Populars I bought. I put up some comparison photos in a different thread. Thought it might be easier for people to find if they want to look at differences between the common Rolls and the pre-Imperials. The thread with pics is here.
  4. gregindallas

    gregindallas Rolls Razor Revivalist

    I'm still here..
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  5. eharriett

    eharriett New Member


    So pleased to hear from you and to see you are still around. I want to thank you for starting something that sent me on a roller coaster of collecting!!!

    I now have my second Popular, a Deluxe set, a 3 blade kit, a 4, and of course the usual ones that are out there! Glad you are still here. If you have any new nuggets of wisdom to share after all this time, I’m sure we would love to hear it.
  6. eharriett

    eharriett New Member

    AH HA!! I have finally figured the American equivalent name for "red vulcanized fibre!" It is called "fish paper" here. Who knew?
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  7. spectrum123

    spectrum123 New Member

    Is this a photo of the stainless steel Model 3 Imperial? Did this model come with the Model 1 handle (extendable)? I have found a very similar one for sale in this case with spare for an extra blade with paperwork stating its the stainless Model 3 with the same handle and want to know if it's likely got the bits it would originally have come with, or if it's been mixed up later in life. I can see some cases say "Stainless Steel Metal" or "Stainless Steel Case" but the one up for sale just has the logo in its ornate font.

    Any help would be appreciated! I've just finished professionally honing an Imperial Model 2's blades after seeing one for sale and am certifiably hooked..! I wish I came across this forum before, as this thread is absolutely fascinating. I can never get over how cheap the Rolls' can be considering their history, and yet how little information there is out there - this is by far the largest resource I've come across, so thank you!

    I'm in Staffordshire, UK for those nearby..!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
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  8. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Looks Like an Imperial 3 Model..Some Handles Extended to Come Apart..The Ones I have Seen Anyway..My Handle is Alloy..The Later Handles were Better..Here is a Few Threads on Em..They are Great Shavers..:)
    And a Thread I Wrote Years Ago..;)

  9. Old School

    Old School *$&%@#~

    Supporting Vendor
  10. eharriett

    eharriett New Member

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  11. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

  12. Uncle Trojan

    Uncle Trojan Well-Known Member

    Just got my Rolls Razor a few minutes ago. Lubed up the strop, and tried it on my cheek I had a few days of growth because I cut my thumb open. I'm in love with this razor. Dfs on my cheek first pass. This is my new daily driver for sure.
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  13. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Active Member

    I came across this 1951 dated (assuming that it's the original blade) Imperial in the usual blue case, the razor is in reasonable condition, but he case is a bit battered, nothing unusual, until you look at the serial number.
    The razor doesn't have the usual embossed number on the frame, instead, it has a hand engraved / etched number 'K2253' on the frame, this number is also written in black ink inside the bottom of the case, this is something peculiar as the serial number formal doesn't follow the usual Rolls format such as 'A182971' or'CS273147', also, the stropping handle is stamped 'SR' on the side of the handle frame, other than that, the razor is the standard nickel plated brass construction.
    Has anyone else seen evidence of this odd serial numbering? I wonder if this was some type of prototype / development model?

    20210501_125110.jpg 20210501_125118.jpg 20210501_124833.jpg

  14. tagir.dn

    tagir.dn New Member

    I'll refresh the topic.

    Attached Files:

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  15. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Active Member

    Here's a couple of pictures of a complete 'De Luxe "G" Model' set I've recently picked up
    20220619_111211~2.jpg De Luxe G Model.jpg

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  16. Jayaruh

    Jayaruh The Cackalacky House Pet

    Supporting Vendor
    Nice. I recently made a video of my Rolls shave. A very satisfying shave.

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  17. tagir.dn

    tagir.dn New Member

    Hello. While I finished work and went to make a purchase, you bought it. :) Congratulations
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  18. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Eccentric Razor Collector Staff Member

    Moderator Article Team
    I recently acquired a Rolls razor from an antique shop. Another Rolls razor, rather. This will be the fifth that has come into my possession, though the other four have long since passed on.

    The first one was my very first introduction to vintage shaving. I was 14, there were no instructions and I wasn't interested enough to figure it out. That's the brief story of how I threw my grandfather's pristine Rolls razor into the local landfill. *sigh*

    When I first got into wet shaving, atoning for that sin was a top priority, and I acquired a Popular, Imperial, and Viscount all near new old stock. Never got a decent shave out of any of them. Mercenary that I am, I sold them for less than I paid for them originally, compounding my sin. $40, maybe $50 for all three? It's been a decade.

    This current set had seen some regular use but not a lot, as the blade was still full length, and the strop and hone seemed okay, so I impulse bought it. What can I say?

    Got home, looked at the edge through a 10x loupe. Rough and chipped. Checked to see what the internet thought I should do. Progression of lapping films, etc. Checked to see what the original manufacturer thought I should do.

    Yeah. I followed the manufacturer's instructions carefully. My two concessions to modern methods, I used a dry q-tip to wipe off the black stuff (grease? graphite?) off of the brass roller as it trundled along the tracks. After a while, black stopped coming off the friction thingy and the action firmed up. No disassembly required on this one. Another check with the loupe showed the chips had been removed. Gotta go slow and gentle for the honing. If you don't hear a double *click* with each blade side transition, you're going too fast and hard. I also made a wet slurry on the stone with a mix of toothpaste and water to clean and rejuvenate it. The stone was wiped clean, rinsed, and dried before use.

    The other modern concession was to use dubbin on the strop, which improved the draw nicely. It also annoyed the missus considerably, and I was sent outside to make my *BatterBatterBatterBatter* noises elsewhere.

    Total time invested in this in-depth restoration, about 15 minutes.

    Of course, it shaved like crap. *sad horn noises*

    Reminding myself (again) that it's a straight razor on a stick, I skin stretched and dropped the blade angle a little. This time I got a fantastic shave, with no irritation and no razor burn.

    It's easy to forget, sometimes, that Rolls Razors made ($200 in today's money) razors for 40 years, and no production company lasts that long unless they have a good product that works well. It wasn't the quality of the product that killed Rolls, it was the convenience of a disposable blade that did it.

    I guess the fifth time is the charm, eh? Karma really wanted me to have a Rolls razor and like it too.

    I'm not pooh-poohing modern honing methods, and I'm sure they result in incredibly smooth blades, but the company issued hardware, if well maintained or rejuvenated, can give the razor a perfectly acceptable (and comparable to an average DE blade) shaving edge. That's also right off the hone and first stropping. Subsequent stroppings should improve the edge.
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  19. Steve_Keyte

    Steve_Keyte Active Member

    I have come across a early 1950's Viscount (I say early 1950's as the box has the card insert commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II which was June 1953) and interestingly it has a 'no-charge' invoice from Rolls dated February 1955 for reconditioning work, which suggests that when the razor is stropped or honed, there is no clearance between the spine of the blade and the strop / hone and it is normal for the blade cutting edge and spine to contact the strop / hone when in use.
    To further research this, I opened my 1945 Imperial New Old Stock razor and had a look at the blade spine clearance whilst stropping and there is zero clearance, however, when I put one of my used blades in the razor (which shows moderate wear to the spine) a small clearance could be seen, using one layer of insulation tape eliminated the clearance.
    I then checked the new blade from the NOS razor with a vernier caliper, the thickness of the spine was 7.46mm (0.293") and when I taped up the worn blade this restored the thickness to 7.46mm.
    I would therefore suggest that when a used blade is taped to reset the bevel, what you are actually doing is eliminating the wear on the blade and not mimicking clearance in the Rolls system, as Rolls themselves suggest in their written note that no clearance exists.
    What are your thoughts?

    noted 1955 invoice.png

  20. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    I Would Not Over Think What is Written there...If the Blade has Been Honed Without Tape it Should Work Fine Unless there is Excessive Hone Wear..They Should Be Honed with One Layer of Tape...There is a Small Gap when the Stropping Handle is Loose from its Stroke..It Tightens when Using Strokes on the Hone..You are Better with a Blade with Zero Hone Wear..I Have Honed More of these Blades for People than I Can Recall..;)

    They are Simple..Folks Tend to Complicate Matters..No Need..But I Get Your Drift..Here is a Thread I Wrote Years Ago..There is Others of Mine on this Forum on Honing Blades..:happy088:

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